I watched a video today of the shooting in Virginia that killed two field reporters during a live story. Early this morning, an angry man walked up to the cameraman, the reporter, and her guest, while they were filming the story. Because he decided it would be a good idea to record the whole thing and post it to social media, we got a first person point of view of the attack.
He walks hastily to the three people. None of them notice him. With reporters being trained to ignore distractions and the guest probably being nervous, I’m not surprised they don’t see him standing there.
So there he is. Only feet behind the cameraman. Facing the woman reporter.
He mumbles under his breath.
He raises his gun at her. Then lowers it. For what seems like an eternity, but for a mere 30 seconds of time, he stands there, looking at them. I wonder what was going through his head. If he was thinking maybe this was a bad idea. If he was thinking at all about what would happen next as soon as he pulled the trigger.
Then it happens. He shoots. They run. Screen goes black. All you hear are blood-curdling screams that make you instantly feel sick to your stomach.
My heart was pounding like mad after I saw this. I felt nauseous and dizzy. I felt so much indignation over what I had just witnessed. How could this man do such a thing? What could possess someone to commit such a heinous act. Then to post it to social media, like he’s proud of what he’d just done; wearing his act of terror like a medal.
As my mind was racing with fear, anger and sorrow over what I just saw, a coworker came walking in to the conference room.
She opened up her computer and proceeded to ask me a question about our company website. But I couldn’t give her my full attention in that moment. Honestly, I didn’t care. I couldn’t care.
How could I watch something so horrible happen right before my eyes, then return to work and act like nothing is wrong? How could I focus on work when the only thing rushing through my head was how messed up our world is…and I’m doing nothing about it?
What is there to do? How do we heal a broken world?
I see brokenness everywhere. I see it in the eyes of the woman sitting across from me at Panera, in the eyes of the family who lost their daughter, in the eyes of the guy whose loneliness is getting the better of him, in the eyes of the hungry kid in the Dominican Republic, in the eyes of the young girl being raped daily by an ISIS jihadi. The hurt is everywhere. The pain is everywhere. The torment, sorrow and grief is everywhere.
I was watching a show the other night called “I Am Cait” – the story of Bruce Jenner’s transition from a male to a female. While watching a group of trans-gendered men talking about their physical and emotional struggles, I felt convicted by the Holy Spirit. It was a still voice in my soul saying “I died for them, too.”
I died for them, too.
When I truly looked at them, I saw hurt. I saw confusion. I saw a longing for acceptance and love. I didn’t see a stereotype or someone that I thought I was better than. I saw a human being who was equally as loved by God as I am. And if that person was the only one on Earth who needed saving from sin’s torment and ultimate death, then guess what.. Jesus would have died just for that one person.
Take your slurs. Take your jokes. Take your labels.
No one can cast the first stone. No one.
Who are we to think we are better than anyone else? Self-righteous people are always so quick to take to social media to spit out labels.
Murderer. Adulterer. Homo. Liar. Pathetic. Hypocrite. Slut.
If there’s anything I’ve learned from the medias coverage lately, it’s that we are a people who deeply need Jesus in our lives and we need him to save us from ourselves. We are sinful people in need of a savior. None of us are righteous, not one.
Oh Lord, how have You kept your wrath from us for long?
How have you not destroyed us? We are unworthy. We spit on your face and curse your name. We persecute those we hate and back-stab those we love. We condemn others for what they’ve done wrong, yet can’t even see the horrible mess inside our own hearts. We make you out to be an idiot, a tall-tale, a fantasy. We deny knowing you, and even if we say we do, our actions say otherwise. We hear what your word says and still choose to do our own will anyways. We fail you constantly. We are not worthy of your grace. We are are not good people.
Lord we are a people in need of a perfect savior! Forgive us, Lord! Our world cries out, longing for rest, longing for fulfillment, longing for meaning, longing for security. We are broken people trying to find our purpose in this world, searching for something – anything – to fill the hole in our heart that only you were meant to fill. You created us to worship you, be satisfied in you, and bring glory to your name. And here we are, lifting our hands to America’s “idols” and walking in darkness.
You, in your great and undeserved mercy, have withheld your wrath from us. Each rainbow is a reminder of that. You are too good to us, God!
You are the only one who can save us from this hell we live in. There is so much darkness in this world. There is so much hurt and pain and confusion. The ruler of darkness works his pointy tail off to keep us stumbling through life with blinders on, thinking this is all we’ve got.
You remove the scales from our eyes. You point us in the right direction. You give us a reason to live this life to the fullest. You give us meaning. You give us purpose. You redeem us from our past. You heal our hurts. You restore us and give us clean hearts. You change our lives. You are the story of redemption this broken world longs for.
HOW LUCKY ARE WE, GOD, THAT YOU CHOOSE US AS YOUR PEOPLE.
Without you, we have nothing. Without you, we’re left to fend for ourselves. We see the terrible massacres and depressing news stories and think there’s no hope for this world. But praise be to God…YOU GIVE US A HOPE.
My friends, I don’t think I can say this enough – but we all need Jesus! More than we need water to quench our thirst. More than we need food to fill our empty stomachs. More than we need security to feel safe at night. More than we need money to pay the rent. More than we need family and friends to turn to in the tough times. More than we need physical healing. We need Jesus.
This world can kill the body. But it can’t kill the soul. You’re soul will live on forever. All that remains is Jesus.
That’s why I believe in Him. That’s why I write about Him. That’s why I’d rather run to the tallest mountain and shout His saving grace to the lost than focus on work that, though good, is meaningless in the end.
You are broken. I am broken. We need a savior. His name is Jesus. Get with him. Give him your life. You won’t regret it. It’s the best, most important decision I’ve ever made and it’s changed my life for the better. I have a hope in a God that forgives us and redeems us. That He will set all things right in the end. That truth will reign, that justice will prevail, and all creation will fall to their knees before God. He’s got my heart and he gives me a secure hope for eternal life.
That’s the Gospel in a nutshell my friends. And there’s no real good way to wrap this up than to say one thing: We need Jesus.
Thanks for letting me get that off my chest.
Love you guys,